Early Years (0-3)
- Look for little things to explore that are within reach and eyesight – an ant hill, a worm, a flower budding, interesting tree bark, or a patch of grass. Draw your child’s attention to some detail like “the bark feels bumpy”, “the grass tickles”. See if they can notice something as well. It’s helpful if your child can actively participate, like digging in a patch of dirt or “hugging” a tree. Make a little rhyme for the life you are noticing like “my big tree is bigger than me” or “squirmy squirmy wormy worm” that you can recall later. Try to revisit that spot once a week for several weeks to look for changes/similarities.
- Go for a walk in a variety of weathers – rainy (look for puddles), hot (look for shade), cold (run to stay warm) etc.
Ages 4-5 years
- Make a poem about all the things you notice this week outside and pin it on your fridge. Use a pattern starter, for instance, “I like” X 3, or “I hear”, “I smell”
- For example: I like (the lilacs), I like (the wind), I like (the ants)
- Gather some loose natural material and create a design on the grass or sidewalk using cut grass, pinecones, pebbles, sand, etc. Take a picture and share with a friend. See if your friend can make something to send to you!
Ages 8-9 years
- Make a list of different ways you can go up and down your street by yourself – walking, running, hopping, etc. Predict how long each method will take and then record the actual time. Challenge a friend to try your ways and have them think of one more. Keep the game going as long as you can. How many ways did you think of together? What was the fastest way? What was the slowest? Which one did you feel most proud of? Why?
Ages 10-11 years
- Choose one natural area you have been to. Research an animal, a plant, and a tree that grows there. Make a video that highlights what you love about this place, and some cool facts you know about at least 3 things that live there – an info-mercial!
- If it is a provincial or national park, be sure to send them an email to tell them what you have made, and share it if possible. If it is a neighbourhood place, share with a neighbour and ask them what they love about that space. Maybe you can do a neighbourhood survey to see if 10 people all love the same thing!